Russell Report: Gators fall further in the rankings after falling to the Commodores

Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:32 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Both Gator basketball teams have gotten off to good starts to begin the season. Early indications for the women are that they can put the ball in the basket but may have some trouble keeping other teams from putting it in the basket. But they’re exciting to watch, they’re 3-1 and they play again today in the O’Connell Center.

The Gator men are also 3-1 after beating archrival FSU in Tallahassee for the first time in a decade. It sure didn’t look like that would happen in the first half as the Gators continually missed easy looks at the rim while they were ice cold from the floor and the Seminoles hit everything in sight. But kudos to Florida for getting its act together and proceeding to blow out FSU in its own building. The Gators next play in the Phil Knight Tournament later this week.

The top four teams in the College Football Playoff poll all won but all of them were highly contested and they all had chances to lose. But at this point, winning is all that matters. Elsewhere, USC beat UCLA getting the Trojans to the PAC-12 title game and keeping their playoff hopes alive. Oregon bounced back with a win. UCF lost to Navy that knocked them out of a big bowl game. Ole Miss lost to a 5-5 Arkansas team amid rumors their coach would be leaving for Auburn. But for me, there were two games that just defy explanation.

You saw it last week. South Carolina came to Gainesville and could do absolutely nothing on offense. Nothing. Quarterback Spencer Rattler was rattled and the only points they scored came on a trick special teams play. Then how in the world do you explain Carolina hanging 63 points on Tennessee when the Vols were looking to stay alive in the playoff race? Rattler threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns! Finally, a game came where a terrific Tennessee offense couldn’t bail out a very bad defense.

And last, but not least, the Florida game. Where do I begin? Except for Anthony Richardson throwing for 400 yards to young receivers who stepped in admirably when four starters either were out or went down in the game, this was a disaster from coaching to play calling to players committing costly penalties. In Florida’s last two games, the Gators averaged 332 yards a game on the ground. Against Vanderbilt, someone forgot to call run plays as they ran for just 45. A team that averaged 40 penalty yards a game got called for 80, many of which kept Vanderbilt drives alive. The Commodores scored 14 points off Gator turnovers. And now, a trip to a red hot 8-3 and ranked FSU team looms on Friday and a loss there gets Florida to 6-6 and to a bowl game no one has heard of. On a positive note, I hope all of you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! I’m Steve Russell, that’s the Russell report!

RELATED: Russell Report: Gators fall to Georgia in Jacksonville

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